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Mangaluru woman dead, Bengaluru businessman hurt in Colombo blasts

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BENGALURU/MANGALURU: The serial bomb blasts in Colombo have claimed the life of a woman from Mangaluru while a businessman from Bengaluru suffered injuries. The whereabouts of his relatives are still unknown. Razeena Khader Kukkady (58), a resident of Surathkal, had travelled with her husband Abdul Khader Kukkady a week ago. Abdul works at a refinery in the United Arab Emirates.

He left for Dubai from Colombo on Sunday morning and Razeena was to fly back to Bengaluru in the afternoon. When the blasts occurred at Shangri La hotel in Colombo, where the couple were staying, Razeena was having her breakfast.

Purushotham Reddy (51) and his relative Nagaraj Reddy, both residents of Bengaluru, were on a business tour and were staying at the Kingsbury hotel in Colombo. Their families in Koramangala tried contacting them, but could not reach them. By evening, the family received information that Purushotham had been hospitalised.

While Indian High Commission said the toll was three, it had not added Razeena. It named Lokashini, Narayan Chandrashekhar and Ramesh. All were reportedly dead at the National Hospital.

Families of victims have harrowing time

Razeena’s family hailed from Kasaragod district in Kerala and had migrated to Sri Lanka some decades ago for business. But the families still have connections with Kasaragod and South Canara region. She got married to Abdul Khader Kukkady from Baikampady in Mangaluru 40 years ago and the couple have a son and daughter who are now in the United States.

Although the family has been living in Dubai but making on and off trips to Mangaluru.

“Since my sister-in-law’s family members and relatives are in Sri Lanka, the couple went there for a vacation. After my brother left for Dubai on Sunday morning, Razeena was to return to Bengaluru by afternoon. But her life has been snuffed out”, said Usman Kukkady, Abdul’s brother.

Yatish Baikampady, a friend of the Kukkadys, said, “It has come as a shock that Raseena was killed in the blast”. Abdul initially worked with MCF and later started working in refineries in Libya and the UAE. The family has been residing at Surathkal, he stated.

Relatives said they will try to bring back the mortal remains of Razeena to Mangaluru for the last rites. Razeena’s children are flying from the US to Colombo and other relatives from India are also reaching there, Usman added.

In Bengaluru, a close relative of Reddys told TNIE that the family tried contacting the Indian High Commission in Colombo, but they did not get any information about the duo. “Only in the evening we came to know that Purushotham is in hospital. The hotel management helped us trace him. The blast occurred when he was having breakfast,” he said.

“Soon after news of the blasts emerged, the family tried reaching Nagaraj and Purushotham. Till evening, we had no information about their whereabouts. The family members are worried as the duo was staying in the same hotel. We are still trying to gather information about Nagaraj Reddy,” he said.
The family members questioned that how come the Indian authorities have not taken note of injuries to Purushotham Reddy. “We tried contacting some friends and are still trying to gather information about Nagaraj Reddy. The Indian embassy has so far said three Indians have died in the carnage. But they do not have full information and this is worrying us,” said another family member.

A leading construction businessman from Anantapur was also injured in the blast. According to reports, Amilineni Surendra Babu was having breakfast in Shangri-La hotel when the explosion took place.Babu, MD of SR Constructions and a local TDP leader, was on vacation with five friends.

Colombo helpline
For help from the Indian mission in Sri Lanka, call +94777903082, +94112422788, +94112422789, 94777902082 or +94772234176. IndiGo and Air India have announced full waiver on rescheduling and cancelling all flights to and from Colombo till April 24.

Source: The New Indian Express

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